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Officials rule out fast-tracking Loreburn Primary into Academy site

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Dumfries and West
Officials rule out fast-tracking Loreburn Primary into Academy site

FAST tracking the relocation of Loreburn Primary School to the Dumfries Academy campus has been ruled out by Dumfries and Galloway Council chiefs.

They insist that there are now too many complications in the whole school merger and redevelopment project that would cause a headache.

The biggest issue is the lack of funds after the Scottish Government rejected the council’s bid for schools investment cash – more than a year after the initial application was submitted.

Now, another major problem highlighted in a new council education report is the discovery of potentially dangerous reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) within Dumfries Academy.

In September, councillors wanted to explore the possibility of accelerating the relocation of Loreburn Primary into the Minerva building on the Dumfries Academy site because staff, parents and pupils are eager to move.

However, council officers have advised against this idea in council papers due to be tabled at the education committee next week,

The report reads: “Whilst not directly related to Loreburn Primary School, RAAC panels have been identified within the tower block at Dumfries Academy.

“Short term works are taking place to add additional support to the panels, however the final solution will be to replace in totality.

“The method, and or need to replace, will be guided by the solution for Dumfries Academy.

“On review of the position, officers’ recommendation is that it would not feasible to accelerate the relocation of Loreburn Primary School to the Minerva building on the Dumfries Academy site at this stage.”

Following the huge disappointment of missing out on the Scottish Government LEIP 3 cash – which councillors and officers were pinning their hopes on – it is now back to the drawing board for education chiefs.

However, they are determined to find a solution within the council’s means that will suit school staff, parents, and pupils. Officers are requesting time to work on alternative options over the coming months and will ask councillors to approve these being brought forward to another education committee meeting early next year.

The council report explains: “It would be prudent to take stock and reflect on the current position, together with the historic commitments given.

“As a service and council, this project remains a priority and officers are committed to undertake a thorough review of options as quickly as possible.”

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